Posts tagged ‘landscapes’
November 25, 2016
Hello out there…
It has now been about two years since I last posted, and I am sorry about that. But not too sorry, because I have very gladly cherished the time I have spent with my daughter.
Was I craving to paint this whole time? Yes. But I also know the kind of painter that I am, and it doesn’t seem to function so well when I have a very limited amount of time and space to paint. I need a block of time, not just half an hour’s here and there. While painting, I can devour hours as if they are minutes, and I don’t feel like painting if I don’t have that block of time, not to mention the contemplative time afterwards. So if I knew that I had only an hour to set up and paint, I usually opted not to, as I had this strong feeling that I would only feel terribly frustrated. I tried a couple of times, and it made me feel that I would never paint again. Plus, I thought, painting just seems so silly compared to being a mamma.
So I picked up knitting needles and tried to satisfy my creative impulses in yarn in the short spurts of free time I could find. I think I have now knitted about 50 sweaters and a couple dozen scarves, hats, shawls, cowls, with a very large blanket in the works. I can now do lace, cables, fair isle, intarsia, slip stitches, top down, bottom up, contiguous sleeves, steeks, write patterns, pretty much you-name-it. It has been very therapeutic, exciting, and inspiring.
But oil painting is so very different. And sooner or later I was going to need to start again. And I have, just at a different pace, maybe getting a block of time once a week. And my material this time around is my backyard of Napoli, an urban masterpiece of mess. I can’t go over it, and I can’t go under it – just have to go through it, as the children’s book goes. So I am including a few images of works in progress as I stumble and trip my way through this forest of Napoli. I am feeling very rusty, which I think is pretty evident in these sketches, but I somehow feel that I am veering in an interesting direction. Only time can tell if I will persist on this quest or climb back under the covers and hide.
I returned in the wee hours on Friday, September 3 after a 7 week stint in Italy at the Certosa di Pontignano just outside of Siena, and since then I have been able to improve my website and post new images. Though most of my time in Italy was taken up by things other than art and painting, I did manage to begin close to 30 paintings, all on linen, though many of these are “failures” that will become the underpaintings for others in the future. As much as I might appreciate the quick, rapid sketch, I also enjoy the challenge of returning to a theme again for further contemplation, allowing it to become a greater niche in my thought process. So some of these images here are very quick and not so big, while with others I was able to at least get a second session with it. The painting above, for example, was something I came across when going to answer the phone. That pink light coming in from the window lasts no longer than 5 minutes each evening before sunset, so I tried getting back to it a few days in a row. The painting below instead was another view I came across in my room when the entire Certosa lost power in a massive thunderstorm. I was struck by the reflection on the floor, the blast of white and the inclusion of a television, and I was forced to paint very quickly before the lights came back on an hour later.
I suppose one might think that a long stay in Italy would involve numerous landscapes or street scenes, but after my enduring plunge into domestic chaos and focus on the beauty in the mundane, even in luscious Italy I stayed away from painting the rolling hills of Chianti. I preferred coming across pink journals and paper bags. Still, I did venture outside a few times.
But I kept returning to my room, where things seemed to change constantly with the flux of the days:
And the following are some other quick, unfinished sketches, which may hold something that can be resolved (but probably not):
About 2 weeks before returning to Israel, I began to think about my dilemma as an artist, about what it is I want to paint and what I don’t. As much as I would love to move often and walk into new places of transit to find new chaos and stories unfolding, it is hardly practical. And then the solution dawned on me, and I am extremely thrilled to get into this whole new world of works. And there will be no need to change countries, houses or furniture. What bliss.